Is Your Back Pain Really A Structural Issue?
25 Mar 2011
Just last week I had a new patient who came into my office suffering from constant, dull, achy pain on both sides of her mid to lower back. This discomfort went from the base of the hips on both sides, all the way up to the middle of her back near her shoulder blades. She had seen two chiropractors in the past 6 months and even though the pain would decrease after an adjustment, it would never go away completely and would come back a day or two later.
After assessing her mid and lower back for structural work, which she did need, I asked about her sugar intake? With curiosity, she looked at me and wanted to know why I asked about her diet, but also surprised, as if she were caught in the act of something. My new patient said the last 6 to 7 months had been very stressful with work, traveling, etc and she had been eating a lot more sugar than she had in the past.
The muscle pain pattern she was describing was the latissimus dorsi muscle (known as the swimmer’s muscle). These muscles, also known as the “lats,” are the broadest muscles in the body and found attaching to the mid to lower part of the spine, base of the hips and the lower 3 ribs. It comes up towards the shoulder blade and wraps under the arm pit to attach on the front of the shoulder. I advised her that each muscle correlates to a different organ and when I assess a patient, I look at not only the structural component, but I also address the nutritional, dietary and emotional components as well. It is important to find the root cause of a patient’s symptoms, as opposed to addressing just the area(s) in question, which may not even be the issue.
The latissimus dorsi muscle correlates to the pancreas, which is responsible for regulating the intake of sugar through the production of insulin and the breakdown of various foods through specific enzymes. When someone eats too much sugar on a consistent basis, the pancreas works extra hard, becomes overloaded continually producing insulin to combat the sugar intake, stresses out and then burns out. Over time, the pancreas will be sluggish and function slowly. Some of the symptoms that will show up could range from digestive issues to increased sugar-related issues such as skin issues, sleep problems, body stiffness, an inability to focus on a task and…correlating muscle symptoms, such as the above described!
After several treatments involving Applied Kinesiology muscle testing to find the cause and correction of the problem, chiropractic adjustments to the bones that contain the nerves to the pancreas, myofasical release on the muscles to turn the stressed fibers back on for the muscle to relax, spot-focused lymphatic drainage on the pancreas and thoracic duct, NAET clearing for sugar, nutritional support to help stimulate the pancreas and a change in her diet involving getting rid of the sugar as well as increasing her water intake to flush out her system, the pain went away completely with no return in her symptoms.
Middle and lower back pain doesn’t need to be a structural problem in itself. Along with an overloaded pancreas, adrenal fatigue and kidney stress can all cause and refer pain to different areas of the back as well as create digestive issues; such as diarrhea and constipation, which can both be caused by a sluggish functioning ileocecal valve (a valve between the small intestine and the large intestine that is supposed to regulate the flow of fecal matter).
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